Sometimes you’ve just got to stick a dog in a photo, haven’t you? If you’ve been following my antics over on Instagram you’ll have seen that we recently added two puppers to the family – a Golden Retreiver and a GSD cross – and we couldn’t be happier! Obviously I was happy because dogs = extra photo opportunities (joke) but I couldn’t resist grabbing Bob our Golden for a quick pose! Doesn’t she look lovely?
Designing this blanket alongside the wonderful folks at Marrier Yarns was an absolute joy! They kindly sent me a generous 500g cone of their 4ply acrylic, a couple of balls of their Smooth Touch Cotton Look DK and a colour pack of Midget DK to play about with and design a project with – how cool is that?
I’m a big fan of actylic yarn, but sometimes it’s hard to find decent quality man-made fibres at a good price. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Marriner Yarns are quietly flying the flag of great-value yarn at incredibly small prices. I particularly love the colour selection available, as well as the generous sizes. The 400g cone I used for this blanket is wonderful for large projects and the small 25g balls of Midget are ideal for Amigurimi, granny squares or adding a pop of colour alongisde neutrals – just as I did here with this blanket. I love, love, love these yarns!
The Strand Blanket is a great beginner’s project, ideal for anyone wanting a long-term “pick up, put down” make that is repetitive and calming but also exciting! Watching the colours change as you work is wonderfully satisfying, and the chunkiness means that it’ll work up in no time. You can work as many rows as you like to make any size blanket (my measurements are approximate and my own) so it’s also flexible and versatile. Just cast on more or less stitches as you wish and work for as many rows as you want until you reach your desired size. Easy as pie, no-fuss and pretty, just the way we like it at Emmaknitty. I love the neutral yarn working together with the splashes of bright, punchy shades and of course the squish of garter stitch is always gorgeously cosy. What a dream!
You will need:
- A cone of Marriner 4ply in a neutral shade (I chose beige);
- A bumper pack of Midget DK;
- An 8.00mm circular needle longer than 32″;
- A wool/yarn needle for weaving in ends and scissors.
You will need to know:
The Long Tail cast on (or other stretchy cast on technique), the knit stitch, slipping stitches purlwise, binding/casting off, weaving in ends.
- For this project you will be using a circular needle but knitting as you would on straight needles (i.e. not joining in the round). This is because the blanket will be quite large, and using circulars for big knits puts less strain on your wrists and arms. We want to be comfy when we knit, right?
- The blanket is worked fully in garter stitch (knitting evey stitch) using three strands of yarn and we will always slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch. This leaves a clean edge.
Firstly we need to separate the cone of yarn into two. Carefully wind two 200g (or as equally sized as you can) balls of yarn from the cone and set aside. Now take your miniature 25g balls of Midget and join them all together, forming one large ball of alternating colours. You can choose how you combine the shades, but sime nice ideas could be attaching all similar colours together, going from bright to more neutral shades or just randomly going in and attaching the different shades randomly as I did.
You should now have three balls (tee hee) and now we’re ready to knit!
- Cast on 130 stitches onto your 8.00mm circular needles, holding all three strands together. It’s always a good idea to cast on loosely, especially if you’re a tight knitter.
- Slip the first stitch purlwise and knit every stitch to the end of the row.
- Follow the above instructions for all of the project, watching those gorgeous shades pop out when you least expect it and stopping when the blanket is at the right length for you. I stopped knitting when my blanket was approximately 64cm (25″) long which made it a great size for a lap or pet blanket.
- Cast/bind off loosely, weave in ends and block if desired.
I hope you enjoyed this simple, off-the-cuff pattern! Do check out my other free patterns and turorials and feel free to share your own The Strand Blanket on Instagram by tagging me at @emmaknitty… I’d love to see what you make!